Okaloosa Democrats June 2023 Newsletter

5 mins read


Moving Forward, Together

Lawsuit fighting book bans filed against

Escambia County School Board

In the fall of 2022, the Escambia County School Board began banning books from school libraries. A new federal lawsuit has been filed against the Escambia County School District and its School Board for violating constitutional guarantees to free speech and equal protection under the law. The lawsuit comes in the face of widespread book bans initiated by Republican Florida legislators as part of Governor Ron DeSantis’ “War on Woke.”

The lawsuit, brought by two parents of students in Escambia County, has been joined by Penguin-Random, the largest publisher in the United States; five authors; and the advocacy group PEN America. It alleges that books were banned “based on ideological objections to their contents or disagreement with their messages or themes.” Additionally, the suit asserts a violation of the Equal Protection Clause “because the books being singled out for possible removal are disproportionately books by non-white and/or LGBTQ authors, or which address topics related to race or LGBTQ identity.” Click here to learn more on the PEN America website. Okaloosa Democrats are distributing books for free (including banned books) at the events we attend. If you’d like to contribute and/or participate, drop by one of our upcoming events (see below for our next two) to check out our collection and add to it, or drop books by our headquarters at 60 2nd Street, Suite C-1 in Shalimar. Feel free to take a book or two home with you!

Three Constitutional Amendment Initiatives

for the 2024 Election Ballot

We are working hard to put three important Constitutional Amendments on the 2024 Florida Election ballot: Amendment to Limit Government Interference With Abortion, Right to Clean and Healthy Waters, and Adult Personal Use of Marijuana. This newsletter and the next two will take a deeper dive into the details of each initiative.

First up: Amendment to Limit Government Interference With Abortion. The proposed ballot summary is as follows: “No law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider. This amendment does not change the Legislature’s constitutional authority to require notification to a parent or guardian before a minor has an abortion.” The full text can be viewed as a PDF here.

Floridians Protecting Freedom filed the ballot initiative, which was approved for signature gathering on May 8, 2023. The requirement for an initiative to be certified for the 2024 ballot is 891,589 valid signatures. The deadline for signature verification is Feb. 1, 2024.

According to Pew Research, currently 56% of Florida adults believe that abortion should be legal in most or all cases. Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book (D) said, “The fight for freedom has never been more critical…elected Republicans across the US are working to take away access to women’s healthcare. We must not back down!” We need you! Sign the petition online here, or stop by Okaloosa Democrat Headquarters at 60 2nd Street, Suite C-1 in Shalimar between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Upcoming Events / Voter Registration

Emerald Coast Pride 2023

Saturday, June 10, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Liza Jackson Park, Fort Walton Beach

Come help us register new voters, sign them up for Vote by Mail, and collect petitions to put constitutional amendments on the 2024 ballot! There are 5 shifts left, click here to sign up.

Mix and Mingle

 Wednesday, June 14, 7 p.m.

Rick’s on the Island Pizza

All welcome! Join us Wednesday evening, June 14, to socialize with fellow Democrats. Whether you’ve been involved for years, or you’ve been waiting for the chance to get to know us, we’d love to see you!

We can’t succeed without your support! Donate today.

60 2nd Street, Suite C-1, Shalimar, Florida 32579(850) 888-3321

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Okaloosa Democrats is a precinct-based organization that fights for democratic causes from the grass roots. We are the official local county arm of the Florida Democratic Party and the forefront organization of registered democrats in Okaloosa County.

Together, we stand with Florida's middle class.
We believe our community and our country succeed when
everyone gets a fair chance,
everyone does their fair share,
everyone plays by the same rules,
and everyone has the
freedom to participate in the political process.

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